Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

"For Fuck's Sake"

Release date: 14 April 2014
The Nightingales – For Fuck's Sake
10 April 2014, 10:30 Written by Hayley Scott

The Nightingales are nothing if not persistent; they’ve been peddling their indigenous, belligerent brand of rock ‘n’ roll for 35 years, and despite eluding some, they’ve remained important to many, regularly cited among similarly transgressive bands from the post-punk era.

Both contested and revered, The Nightingales are no strangers to criticism: their offbeat and demented nature has proved difficult for some people to exalt, but they’ve garnered enough praise from journalists and ardent fans alike to keep plying their trade. Put simply, the band don’t give a shit about what you think, and For Fuck’s Sake is an appropriate case in point.

Recorded in September 2013 at Germany’s Faust Studios, For Fuck’s Sake is a statement of intent: having being dropped by their fourth consecutive label, the band became rightly disillusioned by the restrictiveness of releasing on an imprint, this album is self-released and completely on their own terms. Going it alone meant “no interference or outside opinions, no label, no distributor, no catalogue number, no bar code or logo shit” and free reign to really hone in on their craft.

Their fluctuating line-up, buoyed by the only sole-constant Robert Lloyd, means they are frequently likened to The Fall; a comparison that seems lazy and redundant to fans of either. But while sonically disparate, they share a predilection for Captain Beefheart and a likeness to his crunching together of strange rhythms. They are similarly challenging and unlikable to the masses, confusing and oft-times menacing, but always equally compelling.

For Fuck’s Sake is a continuation of this aesthetic: it’s familiarly gristly, dissonant, and knowingly difficult. Its allure is not immediately perceptible – it takes time to win you over, but it withstands repeated listens; its appeal never waning but heightening with perseverance. Take opener “Bullet For Gove” – perhaps creditable for the title and lyrical contents alone – it’s demanding as it is derivative, and not the best introduction in terms of what else the album has to offer musically. What it lacks in originality, however, it makes up for in breadth of scope. Although sounding predominantly ferocious, there are the comparatively subtle tracks like the prevailing “Good Morning and Goodbye” and “His Family Have Been Informed” that hint at a more nuanced version of The Nightingales, all the while remaining pleasingly unhinged and ragged around the edges. Elsewhere, “The Abstract Dad” is evocative of their proclivity for eccentrically clever, lyrically perverse rock songs.

The line up here seems cohesive despite the shift in personnel: Matt Wood’s absence means Andreas is on guitar duties while Alan Apperley takes over bass. This serves no real detriment to their sound, and Fliss Kitson’s drumming is particularly strong. Meanwhilef Lloyd’s growling, baritone vocals remain a fundamental and unmistakable aspect.

But for all its flaws, For Fuck’s Sake has paramount moments of brilliance, and any noticeable blemishes are masked by Robert Lloyd’s witty and sarcastic lyrical tendencies. Refreshingly, unashamedly discordant, this album is not likely to convert any skeptics or win over the uninitiated- but it’s their loss.

Share article

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next